Adam Kelno has made it to England in the days following World War II. Having escaped from a death camp in Nazi Europe, he finds that his identification with anti-communists in Poland has made him a target of the Soviet Government, which brings up war crime charges against him in England. When the witness is unable to identify him as one of the doctors who castrated him, he is released. Kelno takes his wife and young son to Arabia where he labors for years upgrading public health standards. Upon his return to England he is Knighted. Twenty years have passed and he has just begun to enjoy his life of renown when a book is published that names him as a willing participant to Nazi medical experiments on Jews in the camps. He sues for defamation and finds that not only can he not escape his past, but that the plaintiff a defamation case has his own reputation on trial. QB VII refers to the courtroom in which the trial is held, Queen's Bench, Room 7. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A saintly doctor, Kelno (Anthony Hopkins) is accused of being a collobroator with the nazis by a Jewish writer, Cady (Ben Gazzara), and the two 'duel' in a courtroom, Queens Bench VII (hence the title). Kelno stoutly defends his character but the past catches up to him. I wish the movie could have explored how Dr Kelno--clearly a morally admirable doctor, helping the poor and defying the powerful--changed; or was he always a saint...except when dealing with the Jews? The opposing counsels, played by John Gielgud and Anthony Quayle, are the show. Frankly, I fast forwarded through the first half to watch the courtroom part, which is superb, very British, elegant and fascinating, especially as the Anthony Quayle barrister finally pins down the frantic Kelno, while Kelno's lawyer watches helplessly ("My Lord...!") Highly recommended. A terrific slap at communists early ('You spoke well of Dr --.' 'That was before he defected. Now I say he is guilty'. 'Guilty of what?' 'Of whatever you are charging him with.')
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